Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account

 Elon Musk on Saturday reinstated former President Donald Trump's Twitter account. The billionaire owner of Twitter had posed the question to his followers in a poll.

"The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei," Musk wrote in a tweet, using a Latin phrase that translates to "the voice of the people is the voice of God."

The announcement came a day after Musk polled his followers with a simple prompt of "Reinstate Trump." As of Saturday evening, the poll showed 51.8% of respondents voted "Yes" while 48.2% voted "No."


Representatives for Twitter and Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

The reinstatement comes nearly two years after Trump was kicked off the platform following the deadly January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Trump's return to Twitter was widely anticipated after Tesla CEO Elon Musk closed a $44 billion deal to buy the company.

"I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump," Musk said at a Financial Times conference in May. "I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice. I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme."

He added that he would "reverse the permaban" if he owned Twitter. Shortly after the purchase was finalized, Musk fired four top Twitter executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal and legal and public policy head Vijaya Gadde.

According to The Guardian, as the person in charge of legal and policy affairs at the site, Gadde has been most closely associated with the company's decision to ban Trump after the Capitol riot.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," Twitter said in a statement at the time.

Though the former president's access to Twitter has been reinstated, it's unclear if he'll choose to return.

"I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH," Trump told Fox News in April, referring to the website Truth Social. "I hope Elon buys Twitter because he'll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH."

"The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter," he added.

On Saturday, before the reinstatement was announced, Trump shared the link to Musk's poll on Truth Social, saying: "Vote now with positivity, but don't worry, we aren't going anywhere. Truth Social is special!"


Trump's critics have speculated that if he does return to Twitter, he would likely continue using the platform as a megaphone to spread election conspiracy theories, attack election officials and members of the judiciary, and possibly incite his followers into committing violence.

The former president maintains he was the true winner of the 2020 election. That's despite the fact that his legal team and GOP allies lost nearly every lawsuit they filed contesting the results in battleground states that Joe Biden won.

Trump's last-ditch effort to steal the election came on January 6, 2021, the day Congress was set to certify Biden's win. At a "Save America" rally shortly before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump urged thousands of his frenzied supporters to "fight like hell," adding, "if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

At least five people died as a result of the Capitol siege, and Trump is now at the center of multiple escalating federal and state criminal investigations into the riot. The former president recently alluded to the possibility of political violence if he's indicted, saying, "I think you'd have problems in this country the likes of which, perhaps, we've never seen before."

The former president, who now heads the smaller but Twitter-like site Truth Social, has celebrated Musk's takeover.

"I am very happy that Twitter is now in safe hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country," Trump wrote on Truth Social the day after Musk's Twitter purchase was finalized. "Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better."

 Donald Trump on Saturday said he had no interest in returning to Twitter even as a slim majority voted in favor of reinstating the former U.S. President, who was banned from the social media service for inciting violence, in a poll organized by new owner Elon Musk.

Slightly over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8% voting in favor of reinstatement.

"The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated," Musk tweeted.

Trump's Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began accumulating followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10pm ET Saturday. Some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account on Saturday evening.

Trump had appeared less than keen earlier in the day.

"I don't see any reason for it," the former president said via video when asked whether he planned to return to Twitter by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting.

He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing "phenomenally well".

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter suffered from bots, and fake accounts and that the problems it faced were "incredible".

Musk first said in May he planned to reverse the ban on Trump, and the timing of any return by Trump was closely watched - and feared - by many of Twitter's advertisers.

: A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone and a lit window in the White House residence in Washington
A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone and a lit window in the White House residence in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Illustration/File Photo

The billionaire has since sought to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made with consideration by a content moderation council composed of people with "widely diverse viewpoints" and no account reinstatements would happen before the council convened.

He also said Twitter would not reinstate any banned users until there was a "clear process for doing so." 

But this week, Musk reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin, who had been banned for changing her profile name to "Elon Musk" which violated his new rule against impersonation without indicating it was a parody account. There has been no new information about the process or the moderation council.


A no-show by Trump could reduce concerns among major advertisers, who are already rattled by Musk's drastic reshaping of Twitter.

He has halved the workforce and severely cut the company's trust and safety team, which is responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and harmful content.

These actions and Musk's tweeting have pushed major companies to halt advertising on the site as they monitor how the platform handles hate speech.

On Saturday, Bloomberg reported Twitter could fire more employees in its sales and partnership divisions, citing unnamed sources, just days after a mass resignation of engineers.

If Trump returned to Twitter, the move would raise questions about his commitment to Truth Social, which launched on Apple’s App Store in February and Google’s Play Store in October. Trump has some 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.

Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting on the app regularly in May. He has used Truth Social to promote his allies, criticize opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.

His agreement with the company, however, opens the door for Trump to engage extensively on other platforms. Trump is obligated to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusive on any post – but is free to post "political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts" on any site, at any time, according to a May SEC filing.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post